- Gods (Marvel Comics)
Several characters in many Marvel Comics stories have been referred to as gods. Generally, however, only those belonging to two specific types are considered to be the "true" gods. Note that only ONE of these beings are divine in the commonly understood sense, but most are rather simply powerful supernatural beings. Other worlds besides Earth also have their own gods, with different origins.
While there are numerous beings that are referred to as "gods" or have claimed divinity, the mysterious entity known as the One-Above-All has been vaguely considered to be the creator god of the Marvel Universe. The enigmatic master of the judge of all realities, the immensely powerful Living Tribunal, the One-Above-All has been mentioned in a Guardians of the Galaxy storyline to be the most powerful being in the entirety of the Marvel Universe.[clarification needed]
The first kind of gods, known now as the Elder Gods, were created when the being called The Demiurge spread part of its essence over the Earth. They included Gaea, Chthon, Set and Oshtur. All but Gaea, the Earth Goddess, and Oshtur, the Bird Goddess of the Skies (who departed Earth to explore the cosmos and other dimensions), degenerated into demons when they realized they could increase their personal power by consuming their brethren. Set the Serpent God was the first of the Elder Gods to degenerate into a demonic being and commit murder. Gaea "mated" with the Demiurge to produce Atum/Demogorge the God-Eater, who killed or drove off all of the others (as revealed in Thor Annual # 10.)
The second kind of gods are human-like beings from other dimensions who are immortal and super-strong, and usually have individual magical powers as well, but are not as powerful as the Elder Gods. They are divided into separate pantheons and are or were worshipped on Earth for thousands of years, though the cosmic entities called The Celestials forced them to limit their contact with humanity 1000 years ago. As a result most modern humans do not believe in their existence anymore. Most are based on actual myths but some are original characters. Their origin isn't clear, though Gaea has claimed to have been the Mother Goddess of each pantheon, under a different identity for each; however, some of the Skyfathers also seem to have simply "emerged" somehow from primordial chaos or nothingness into their own divine realms, only encountering Gaea later in the Earth realm and siring more gods with her, as in the case of the pantheons of the Kami, and the Yazatas.
Council of Godheads
The leaders of the various pantheons (or their representatives) occasionally meet to discuss matters that may affect them. The first time they met (known so far) was approximately 1000 years ago when the Celestials visited Earth for the third time. The Celestials demanded that the gods stop interfering in human affairs or they would close the portals between Earth and the gods' home dimensions. Overpowered by the Celestials, the godheads agreed, but began making plans to fight them when they returned 1000 years later to judge humanity. The Asgardians would attack first, using The Destroyer as a weapon. This plan was kept secret from most other gods. Gaea and the female rulers of each pantheon also met to discuss a more peaceful solution. They decided to choose twelve humans who would represent the best qualities of the human race, make them immortal, and present them to the Celestials as proof of humanity's worth; these would be known as the Young Gods. This plan was also kept secret.
A few years ago, the Celestials did return, and not long after, the Destroyer, powered by the souls of all Asgardians (except Thor, who arrived late to the battle), and armed with the gigantic Odinsword, attacked the Celestials but was swiftly destroyed, leaving the Asgardians's spirits scattered. Gaea appeared with the Young Gods, and the Celestials accepted them, judged in favor of humanity, and left Earth, taking the Young Gods with them. Gaea then told Thor he could revive the Asgardians with a portion of each pantheon's essence. Each godhead willingly gave their part, except the Hindu ones (who are ruled by the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) who voted on the matter and decided that a new Asgardian race would eventually be born. This caused an angry Thor to fight Shiva (or Indra posing as Shiva, this isn't clear) and won, causing him to change his vote and gaining Thor their essence. Thor then revived the Asgardians with it. (Thor vol. 1 # 300-301)
Their next meeting came when four gods of the dead tried to join their infernal realms together to increase their powers; this awakened the Demogorge, who, thinking the time for the current gods to die had come, absorbed them. Discovering this, Odin convened the Council to discuss Demogorge's threat, and they decided to send a team of gods from different pantheons (Thor, Indra, Shango, Tawa, Horus, Quetzalcoatl, and Apollo) to fight Demogorge. He absorbed them all as well, but Thor's spirit forced Demogorge to restore all the absorbed deities, in exchange for the Death Gods restoring the barriers between their realms. (Thor Annual #10)
The Council met again during the events caused by the Infinity Gauntlet, as well as those caused by the Heart of the Infinite, but were mostly ineffectual against both menaces.
The Council also tested Thor to see if he was worthy of taking Odin's place in the group after his death, but Thor failed one of the tests when he provided food to a starving people instead of teaching them how to gain more by themselves. (Thor vol. 2 #61)
List of known Marvel gods
Celtic gods (Avalonians)
Other Pantheons in the Marvel Universe
Aztecs, Mayans, Persians, Hindu, Japanese, Africans, Native Americans, Chinese, Polynesians,Finlaands and Skrull.
Several beings have either claimed to be gods, or were mistaken for gods. These include:
- Apocalypse (worshipped as Huitzilopochtli, Kali-Ma, Set, possibly others)
- Beta Ray Bill (an alien warrior who was an avatar of Thor for a short time and has since been given his own similar powers)
- Demons (many were originally Elder Gods, and/or were worshiped as gods even in their demonic forms)
- Eternals (Zuras was mistaken for Zeus, et cetera)
- Selene the Black Queen (worshipped as a goddess in Nova Roma)
- Storm (worshipped as a goddess in Kenya)
- ^ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Hardcover Vol. 6
- Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition (Gods entry); 2006 edition (Council of Godheads entry); individual character entries
- GODS in the Marvel Universe, at marvunapp.com
- Gods in the Marvel Universe, at MarvelDirectory.com
- Guide to the Mythological Universe - Adapted from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe #5
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